America’s best-selling SUV of the past quarter century just raised the stakes, as the all-new 2023 Honda CR-V debuted with a rugged and sophisticated design, along with a new, more advanced 4th-generation hybrid-electric system for a fuel-efficient, sporty and more capable driving experience. CR-V hybrid models are positioned as the top of the CR-V lineup and will represent about 50 percent of sales for this 6th generation, a key step in the Honda electrification strategy.
Perfect for daily life or weekend escapes, the new CR-V is longer and wider with premium proportions and a significantly broader stance, further advancing the new Honda design direction with a low horizontal beltline and a long, powerful front end. Honda’s most popular SUV backs up its strong new looks with a more fun-to-drive personality, more confident and refined dynamics, and increased torque and capability.
Honda CR-V is available in four trim levels, including the new hybrid-powered and more boldly styled CR-V Sport and Sport Touring as the new top of the CR-V model line. With 247 lb.-ft of torque from the new generation two-motor hybrid system, they are the most powerful CR-Vs ever.
Inside, the new sporty and modern interior brings fine craftsmanship, high-quality feel of materials and must-have tech features. It’s also more quiet and more comfortable, with new front Body Stabilizing Seats to reduce fatigue and improve posture, and the most cabin and cargo space in CR-V history. Standard class-leading safety features include a new Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology with a new wide-view camera and radar, next-gen front airbags, as well as new rear side-impact and knee airbags.
“As America’s outright best-selling SUV of the past 25 years the Honda CR-V has played a critical role in our past, but what’s significant about the all-new CR-V is the important role it will play in our future – with the CR-V hybrid to represent about 50 percent of sales,” said Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president of Honda sales at American Honda. “More stylish, more rugged, more tech and more fun-to-drive, this 6th generation CR-V will be best in class in a large segment where that really matters.”
Rugged and Sophisticated Styling
The 2023 CR-V features all-new rugged and sophisticated styling that further advances Honda’s rugged exterior design direction for its light trucks, taking inspiration from the recently redesigned Ridgeline and Passport TrailSport. A strong horizontal beltline highlights its increased overall length (+2.7 inches longer), while a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase and 0.4 inches of additional width give it a stronger, more aggressive presence.
The radical repositioning of its windshield pillars is key to CR-V’s new sportier proportions and improved visibility. The base of these A-pillars has moved 4.7 inches rearward, 2.8 inches outward and 1.4 inches lower. Together with new door-mounted side mirrors, these changes radically improve outward visibility.
Emphasizing the strong new styling is a large, upright grille, a long hood and standard LED headlights. EX and EX-L feature a gloss black grille mesh with a chrome trim, body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals and standard 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. A sleek body-color roof spoiler and a new, all-LED interpretation of signature vertical taillights make the 6th-generation CR-V instantly recognizable from the rear.
The more powerful Sport and Sport Touring hybrid models feature even bolder styling. More aggressive front and rear facias and grille mesh are highlighted with a gloss black accent, and Sport and Sport Touring are the only trims with rectangular exhaust finishers. The unique lower bumper design is gloss black on Sport and platinum on Sport Touring. The underside of the rear spoiler is matte black on Sport, and gloss black on Sport Touring.
Honda CR-V Sport rides on grade-specific Berlina Black 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, while Sport Touring features black 19-inch split 5-spoke alloys.
Sporty, Modern and Spacious Interior
With clean surfacing, high-quality feel of materials and upscale touches, the all-new sporty and modern interior builds on the new Honda design direction. CR-V is also more comfortable and more spacious than ever, with a notably larger front-to-rear-seat couple distance and more rear seat legroom (+0.6 inches). The rear seats now feature eight angles of recline for increased comfort.
The top of the instrument panel has been designed with minimal cutlines to reduce windshield reflections and other potential visual distractions. A striking metal honeycomb mesh spanning the dash serves both form and function, concealing the air vents that would otherwise mar the uncluttered and harmonious design.
New front Body Stabilizing Seats reduce fatigue over long drives and the steering wheel angle is more sedan-like for a more comfortable, sportier driving position. Between the front seats is the largest center console bin in its class with nine liters of space.
The 2023 Honda CR-V has the most cargo room in the model’s history with 36.3 cu.-ft. available behind the rear seats in both turbocharged (+1.2 cu.-ft.) and hybrid (+3.1 cu.-ft.) models. In EX and EX-L, the rear load floor can be lowered, expanding the cargo space to 39.3 cu.-ft. With the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded flat, cargo space expands to 76.5 cu.-ft.
CR-V EX features gray or black cloth upholstery with an 8-way power driver’s seat and black trim on the dash. EX-L adds gray or black leather seating surfaces, a 4-way power passenger seat and piano black dash trim.
Honda CR-V Sport comes with exclusive black cloth upholstery and black dash trim, while the Sport Touring comes with either black or gray leather seating surfaces and piano-black dash trim. Both Sport and Sport Touring come standard with a black headliner and orange contrast stitching on the seats (black leather or cloth), console, steering wheel and shifter.
Technology has been smartly integrated into Honda CR-V’s new cabin with a focus on the driver, including a digital instrument display and a notably larger standard touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility.
The 7-inch digital instrument panel features an all-digital tachometer on EX and EX-L, or a digital power flow meter on Sport and Sport Touring, on the left and a physical speedometer on the right side. The 7-inch multi-information display features user-selectable functions such as Honda Sensing® settings, vehicle information and more.
A new 7-inch touchscreen audio system is standard on EX and Sport with physical knobs for volume and tuning, and a simplified menu structure. The storage area in front of the shifter is wide enough to accommodate two smartphones side-by side, accompanied by two illuminated USB ports, a 2.5A USB-A and 3.0A USB-C that are standard. For rear seat passengers, two illuminated 3.0A USB-C charging ports are standard on Sport and Sport Touring.
CR-V EX-L and Sport Touring have a standard 9-inch touchscreen with a physical volume knob, wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility and a simplified navigation structure with fewer menus. Qi-compatible 15W wireless smartphone charging is also standard.
CR-V Sport Touring comes with a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system custom-engineered for the new interior. Featuring Bose Centerpoint technology and SurroundStage digital signal processing, the new system places all passengers in the middle of the music, regardless of their seating position, with a clear and spacious listening experience.
Sporty, Yet Comfortable Dynamics
A sportier and more engaging driving experience was created through a revised chassis and a significantly stronger structure.
Based on Honda’s enhanced global architecture, CR-V’s wheelbase has been extended to 106.3 inches (+1.6 inches) for a smoother ride and greater stability. Significantly wider tracks (+0.4 inches in the front and the rear) also improve stability. A 15 percent torsionally-stiffer body further supports improvements in ride, handling and overall refinement.
Suspension and steering updates make CR-V more fun to drive, while simultaneously improving ride quality. Its MacPherson strut front suspension and variable-ratio steering now mount to a new stiffer subframe that repositions the steering rack to improve feel and accuracy. Handling is further improved with a stiffer rear subframe for the retuned multilink suspension which features 15-percent higher spring rate for the upper spring mount.
New More Powerful, More Capable Hybrid Models
For a sportier driving feel, CR-V Sport and Sport Touring feature an all-new 4th-generation two-motor hybrid-electric system with a newly refined 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine that adds direct fuel injection and is mated to a pair of electric motors that are now mounted side-by-side. This new configuration allows for the use of a larger propulsion motor with increased torque output. Combined system output is 2041 hp (a 3 hp increase, ISO net), while the traction-motor peak torque rises to 247 lb.-ft. of torque (up 15 lb.-ft.).
The hybrid-electric system is more refined at highway speeds and for the first time offers up to 1,000 pounds of towing capacity. Linear Shift Control elevates the driving experience by mimicking the vehicle speed-linked rev feel associated with a conventional drivetrain shifting gears at wide open throttle. The new hybrid-electric system also allows for a substantial increase in continuous maximum speed-which climbs from 86 mph to 115 mph.
Under the hood of the CR-V EX and EX-L is an updated 1.5-liter turbo engine with additional refinement, improved emissions performance and 190 horsepower (SAE net at 6,000 rpm). Enhancements include a new high-efficiency, high-response turbocharger and 4-2 exhaust port cylinder head that help the 4-cylinder engine maintain peak power over a broader range of rpm. Its torque peak of 179 lb.-ft. also arrives 300-rpm earlier, from 1,700-5,000 rpm, improving response. Engine noise also has been reduced significantly.
The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) for the 1.5-liter turbo has been updated to reduce noise and vibration. Significant drivability and performance improvements include Step-Shift programming that simulates gear changes at full throttle.
An updated Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™ improves traction management in slippery conditions, like snow and mud. Available on all grades, and standard on Sport Touring, the system can now send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels.
For the first time Honda CR-V features Hill Descent Control. Standard across the lineup, the system increases off-road capability with more control on steep, slippery declines. Drivers can select speeds between 2 and 12 mph.
Three standard selectable drive modes optimize the driving experience for various conditions. In addition to Normal and Econ modes, a new Snow mode maximizes available traction and performance is slick snowy conditions. Sport and Sport Touring models add a Sport mode.
Safety Performance and Feature Leadership Among Compact SUVs
The 6th-generation Honda CR-V is a leader in compact SUV safety features and performance thanks to advanced active and passive safety technology that comes standard on every CR-V. This includes the latest version of Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) architecture that has been enhanced for even better compatibility with larger vehicles.
This was achieved with a new upper A-pillar structure, side frame and lower firewall structure – all designed to route crash energy around the cabin. Side impact protection also has been improved, with stiffer structures in the roof, side sill and B-pillar, doors, and the rear wheel arch and C-pillar. Targeting today’s Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5-star ratings, CR-V is designed to meet anticipated future standards as well.
First introduced on the new Civic, new driver and passenger front airbags were designed to minimize the potential for severe brain trauma associated with angled frontal collisions. The new front driver’s airbag uses an innovative donut-shaped structure to cradle and hold the head to reduce rotation. The passenger-side front airbag uses a three-chamber design to achieve a similar result, with two outer chambers designed to cradle the head and minimize rotation. For the first time, CR-V features standard knee and rear-passenger side impact airbags.
A new Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver assistive technologies integrates a new wide-angle camera and millimeter-wave radar. The new camera features a 90-degree field of view, while the radar has a 120-degree field of view. This wide angle improves collision prevention performance via improved ability to recognize attributes of objects, such as a vehicles or pedestrians, as well as white lines, road boundaries like curbs, other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, and road signs. The wide angle also enables expanded control range for CR-V at intersections.
Blind spot information (BSI) is now standard. Also new are Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Low-Speed Braking Control and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), as well as more natural responses for existing features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).
Honda CR-V now features a Driver Attention Monitor, which issues a warning on the dash when it senses the driver is becoming inattentive. Standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder are new to CR-V; the latter notifies drivers to check the rear seating area for children, pets or other precious cargo when exiting the vehicle.
Speaking to the importance of CR-V in the Honda lineup, the new 6th-generation CR-V will be built in three plants in North America*, including the East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio, the Indiana Auto Plant, and Honda of Canada Mfg., continuing the 40-year legacy of Honda’s commitment to build products close to the customer. Since 2006, Honda has produced more than 5 million CR-Vs in North America, with roughly half of those built in the U.S.